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U.S. Capitol at daybreak, Jan. 22, 2012. Photo by Mark Noel (
Recapping yesterday's action:

The House spent its day on debate of and amendments to the Commerce, Justice, Science appropriations bill. Thirty-plus amendments were proposed and considered, and the votes were flying late into the night, preventing the timely posting of Wednesday's House floor schedule. Very few of the proposed amendments actually succeeded, including several that aimed to trim several billion dollars worth of spending, evidencing a split among Republicans between some of the more teabaggy types and the senior conservatives. Things that did pass included limiting amendments, like one prohibiting the Justice Department from using federal funds to challenge state immigration laws like Arizona's infamous SB1070, and a $1 million cut to the DOJ as punishment for what Republicans consider its non-responsiveness to subpoenas in the "Fast and Furious" investigation.

One other interesting side note from yesterday is that the rule for the appropriations bill actually had to include language fixing a mistake in the Republicans' attempt to deem their own budget passed:

Specifically, that April vote was on a resolution that accidentally referenced budget figures from a House-Senate conference report that does not exist, because the Senate has not passed a budget resolution on which the House would normally negotiate. Instead, the Tuesday fix refers to figures in the House Budget Committee's report on the GOP budget proposal. The figures in question related to the so-called section 302(a) budget allocations, which refer to the total discretionary spending level.
Incidentally, this may help answer the burning question from 2009 as to whether or not it was within the power of the Congress to amend a measure that had not yet become law. Well, it really wasn't a burning question, since the answer was always yes. But some people really got burned up about it, nonetheless. I suppose it could be argued that since yesterday's vote was about amending a concurrent resolution (which unlike a bill or joint resolution does not become law and is not presented to the President for signature), that the situation is not exactly analogous. But I note that no one even asked the question this time, and I suggest that's because everyone knows the answer always was yes.

The Senate... well, the Senate voted on cloture on the motion to proceed to the student loan bill, but was once again blocked from moving forward by Republicans. They did manage to get a number of non-controversial items taken care of by unanimous consent, but they were stymied on student loans, at least for the time being.

Looking ahead to today:

The House returns to consideration of the appropriations bill, with no one knows how many amendments still to come.

Plans in the Senate, at least for the moment, don't go beyond returning to the motion to proceed to the student loan bill and taking another shot at that. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) cast his vote against cloture yesterday, which entitles him to move to reconsider the vote and take another swing at it, as opposed to filing another cloture motion and having to wait two days to try again.

Today's floor and committee schedules appear below the fold.

In the House, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:

On Wednesday, the House will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. First votes expected: 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. Last votes expected: 11:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.

One Minute Speeches (15 per side)

Legislation Considered Under Suspension of the Rules:

1)    H.R. 2072 - Securing American Jobs Through Exports Act of 2011, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Gary Miller / Financial Services Committee)

2)    H.R. 4133
- United States-Israel Enhanced Security Cooperation Act of 2012, as amended (Sponsored by Rep. Eric Cantor / Foreign Affairs Committee)

Continue Consideration of H.R. 5326 - Making appropriations for the Departments of Commerce and Justice, Science, and Related Agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2013, and for other purposes (Open Rule) (Sponsored by Rep. Frank Wolf / Appropriations Committee)

The rule provides for no further general debate and makes in order any amendment offered that complies with the House rules.

Special Order Speeches

In the Senate, courtesy of the Office of the Majority Leader:
Senate Floor Schedule for Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Convenes: 9:30am

Following the prayer and pledge, the Majority Leader will be recognized.

It is Majority Leader Reid’s intention to resume consideration of the motion to proceed to S.2343, the Stop Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act upon convening on Wednesday.  We expect to equally divide the first hour between the two Leaders or their designees with the Republicans controlling the first 30 minutes and the Majority controlling the second 30 minutes.

5/08 wrap-up:
Senate Floor Wrap Up for Tuesday, May 8, 2012


1)      Motion to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.2343, the Stop Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act; Not Invoked: 52-45-1 (present)


Passed H.R.2668, the Brian A. Terry Memorial Act.

Passed S.743, the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012 with committee-reported amendments.

Adopted S.Res.447, congratulating the students, parents, teachers, and administrators of charter schools across the United States for ongoing contributions to education, and supporting the ideals and goals of the 13th annual National Charter Schools Week, to be held May 6 through May 12, 2012.

Completed the Rule 14 process of H.R.2050, Idaho Wilderness Water Resources Protection Act. (Republican request)

Completed the Rule 14 process of H.R.2240, Lowell National Historical Park Land Exchange Act. (Republican request)

Completed the Rule 14 process of H.R.4849, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks Backcountry Access Act. (Republican request)

Completed the Rule 14 process of H.R.4628, the Interest Rate Reduction Act. (Republican request)


Today's House committee schedule:

Homeland Security Subc. Markup of H.R. _ - Homeland Security Appropriations Act for FY 2012.  H-140 Capitol.


State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Subc. Markup of FY 2013 appropriations legislation for programs under its jurisdictions.  H-140 Capitol.

ARMED SERVICES------------------------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee.  Markup of H.R. 4310 - National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013. 2118 RHOB.

ENERGY & COMMERCE--------------------------------------------------------------9:00-Open

Energy and Power Subc. Health Subc.  Hrng. on H.R. 4273 – the Resolving Environmental and Grid Reliability Conflicts Act of 2012, and H.R. _ - the Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2012. Patricia Hoffman, Energy Department Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability; Gina McCarthy, Environmental Protection Agency Assistant Administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation; and Phillip Moeller, Commissioner, Federal Regulatory Commission. 2123 RHOB.

ENERGY & COMMERCE------------------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Oversight and Investigations Subc. Hrng. on budget and spending concerns at the Health and Human Services Department. Norris Cochran, Deputy Assistant Secretary, HHS Office of Budget; Carolyn Yocom and James Cosgrove, health care directors, Government Accountability Office. 2322 RHOB.

FINANCIAL SERVICES-------------------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subc. Hrng. on rising regulatory compliance costs and their impact on small financial institutions. William Grant, President, First United  Bank and Trust; Ed Templeton, President, SRP Federal Credit Union. 2128 RHOB.

FINANCIAL SERVICES---------------------------------------------------------------2:00-Open

Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Subc. Hrng. on the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Program. Charles Coulter, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Single Family Programs, Office of Housing, Federal Housing Administration; Peter Bell, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. 2128 RHOB.

FOREIGN AFFAIRS-------------------------------------------------------------------2:00-Open

Middle East and South Asia Subc. Hrng. on U.S. foreign policy priorities in the Middle East. Jeffrey Feltman, Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, State Department; Mara Rudman, Assistant Administrator for the Middle East Bureau,
U.S. Agency for International Development; and Mark Ward, Deputy Special Coordinator for Middle East Transitions, State Department. 2172 RHOB.

HOMELAND SECURITY--------------------------------------------------------------9:30-Open

Full Committee. Markup of H.R. 3857 - Public Transit Security and Local Law Enforcement Support Act, H.R. 4005 - GAPS Act, H.R. 3173 - To direct the Homeland Security secretary to reform the process for the enrollment, activation, issuance, and renewal of a Transportation Worker Identification Credential to require, in total, not more than one in-person visit to a designated enrollment center, H.R. 2356 - WMD Prevention and Preparedness Act of 2011. 311 CHOB.

HOMELAND SECURITY-------------------------------------------------------------11:00-Open

Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection and Security Technologies and Emergency Preparedness, Response, and Communications subcs. Joint hrng. on security research and development. Dept. and public witnesses. 311 CHOB.


Full Committee.  Hrng. on the FBI. Robert Mueller III, FBI Director. 2141 RHOB.

NATURAL RESOURCES-------------------------------------------------------------10:00-Open

Full Committee. Hrng. on President Obama’s offshore drilling plan its impact on the future. Tommy Beaudreau, Director, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management. 1324 LHOB.

OVERSIGHT & GOVERNMENT REFORM---------------------------------------------1:00-Open

Joint hearing with Transportation Committee on the Transportation Security Administration. 2154 RHOB.

SCIENCE, SPACE & TECHNOLOGY--------------------------------------------------2:00-Open

Research and Science Education Subc. Hrng. on the National Science Foundation. Allison Lerner, Inspector General, National Science Foundation. 2318 RHOB.

SMALL BUSINESS-------------------------------------------------------------------1:00-Open

Full Committee.  Hrng. on the effect of gasoline prices on small businesses.
Public witnesses. 2360 RHOB.

WAYS & MEANS----------------------------------------------------------------------9:00-Open

Health Subc. Hrng. on Medicare durable medical equipment bidding program and its effect on patients, suppliers and program costs. 1100 LHOB.

WAYS & MEANS----------------------------------------------------------------------2:00-Open

Social Security Subc. Hrng. on information technology at the Social Security Administration. G. Kelly Croft, Deputy Commissioner of Systems, Social Security Administration. B-318 RHOB.

Today's Senate committee schedule:
10:00 am
        Appropriations: Subcommittee on Department of Homeland Security
                Hearings to examine proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2013 for the Coast Guard.

10:00 am
        Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs: Subcommittee on Economic Policy
                Hearings to examine the National Flood Insurance Program, focusing on the need for long-term reauthorization and reform.

10:00 am
        Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
                Hearings to examine the nomination of Joseph G. Jordan, of Massachusetts, to be Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, Executive Office of the President.

10:00 am
                An oversight hearing to examine the Office of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator.

10:30 am
        Appropriations: Subcommittee on Department of Defense
                To receive a closed briefing on proposed budget estimates for fiscal year 2013 for Central Command and Africa Command Programs.

2:00 pm
        Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs: Subcommittee on Financial Institutions and Consumer Protection
                Hearings to examine limiting Federal support for financial institutions.

2:30 pm
        Commerce, Science, and Transportation
                Hearings to examine the need for privacy protections, focusing on perspectives from the Administration and the Federal Trade Commission.

2:30 pm
        Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs: Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia
                Hearings to examine building and maintaining an effective human resource workforce in the Federal government.

2:30 pm
                Hearings to examine the nominations of Robert E. Bacharach, of Oklahoma, to be United States Circuit Judge for the Tenth Circuit, Paul William Grimm, to be United States District Judge for the District of Maryland, John E. Dowdell, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Oklahoma, Mark E. Walker, to be United States District Judge for the Northern District of Florida, and Brian J. Davis, to be United States District Judge for the Middle District of Florida.

2:30 pm
                To receive a closed briefing on certain intelligence matters from officials of the intelligence community.

3:30 pm
        Appropriations: Subcommittee on Financial Service and General Government
                Hearings to examine expanding broadband access, promoting innovation, and protecting consumers in a communications revolution, focusing on fiscal year 2013 resource needs for the Federal Communications Commission.

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